Monday, October 16, 2017

Kevin De León For U.S. Senate


I had an idea Kevin de León was about to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate Dianne Feinstein had grown stale in when I saw he had hired the video team that made that awesome Randy Bryce video to do a shoot for him. And sure enough, he launched yesterday-- with the clip (above). Although the whole Democratic Party establishment has been lining up to back DiFi-- from Adam Schiff on the right to Ted Lieu on the left-- the first congressmember to endorse de León was, predictably, the most seriously progressive member of the state's delegation, Ro Khanna. "Kevin de León," he told me a few hours before the official launch, "has a proven track record of implementing bold and innovative policies. He has been a leader on alternative energy, on single payer healthcare, and on on debt free college. He will bring the best of California to Washington at a time our nation desperately needs leadership." Blue America agrees and we immediately endorsed Kevin as well. If you'd like to help him stand up to the shockingly corrupt Feinstein money machine... that's what the Blue America Senate thermometer below can help you with.

Goal ThermometerIn the words of Sacramento Bee political reporter Christopher Cadelago, Kevin's daring challenge to DiFi sets up "a generational confrontation over the direction of the Democratic Party between one of California’s political stalwarts and the little-known Los Angeles lawmaker. Little know to the general public but very well known in political circles as the effective president of the state Senate who has been standing up for working families even when Jerry Brown asked him to cool it on the super-progressive agenda. Yesterday he told Cadelago that "The state has changed significantly over the past 25 years and we are overdue for a real debate on the issues, priorities and leadership that the voters want from their senator. California deserves a senator that will not just fully resist the Trump presidency, but also understands the issues that most Californians face every day: That’s fighting for Medicare for all. That’s fighting for our Dreamers. That’s fighting against climate change... Change is needed to fully resist Trump’s pernicious or mean-spirited actions against our state."
De León’s entry into the Senate race aims to shake up the state’s Democrat-dominated political order that has largely been characterized by its veteran older guard relinquishing their seats only upon retirement. Next year, Gov. Jerry Brown is leaving office because of term limits. Sen. Kamala Harris last year won the Senate seat of Barbara Boxer, who retired after 24 years in the Senate.

Feinstein, 84 and elected alongside Boxer in 1992, in the “Year of the Woman,” announced last Monday that she would seek a fifth full term next year, a decision aides and confidants said she had been wrestling with for months. Feinstein commands respect in Washington, where she holds esteemed positions on the judiciary and intelligence committees. But she has periodically upset activists back home, who chide her for being too accommodating to President Donald Trump and for clinging to a collegial approach with GOP colleagues they consider unproductive and out of touch.

It is from that dynamic-- amid a growing resistance to Trump-- that de León, 50, sees the opportunity to capture an improbable victory over Feinstein.

...In The Bee interview, de León noted Feinstein’s remarks this fall calling for “patience” with Trump and suggesting he could still be a “good president.”

“He cannot be a good president, at all, whatsoever” he said. “His values are antithetical to the values of the state of California.”
The sleaze bag who runs Feinstein electoral operation immediately attacked Kevin for not being a Bernie supporter and trying to paint him as inauthentic in his progressivism. Feinstein was a Clinton fanatic and Kevin's record stands as astonishingly progressive. As Cadelago pointed out, Kevin "has made his mark as the leader of the Senate. Since Trump’s election in November, he’s helped lead the body’s resistance to the president. As a lawmaker, he is known for carrying far-reaching legislation on climate change, gun-control and immigration. His emergence from the Legislature comes at a time of relative productivity, a point he makes often when comparing the passage of legislation there with what’s moving in Congress."

In his letter to supporters yesterday, Kevin emphasized that as state Senate president he worked to infuse "progressive Californian values in important policy efforts like immigration, women’s rights, quality education, civil rights, job creation, and fighting climate change" and daily Trump and his regime "wages war on our people and our progress. He disregards our voices. Demonizes our diversity. Attacks our civil rights, our clean air, our health access and our public safety."

He wants to help lead the fight against the Regime, a stark contrast to Feinstein who has urged patience with Trump and sought to normalize his abnormal behavior. Kevin emphasized what he wants to work on for California:
You deserve jobs that afford your family a better quality of life.

You deserve an opportunity for our children to have a free and equal education.

You deserve clean air.

You deserve universal healthcare.
In their instant endorsement, the first for the 2018 cycle of a Senate challenger, DFA told it's members that "When Trump became President, de León didn’t ask people to sit back and wait, hoping maybe Trump would someday turn out OK. He immediately began working to pass policies that would help the people most immediately affected by Trump’s bigoted, greedy policies. The simple fact is this: We won't defeat Trump and his Republican Party with corporate Democrats pushing Republican-lite policies and weak leadership. We win when candidates offer a progressive vision for America and fight to make it happen. Kevin de León has proven he will do both and we can’t wait to see him do it in the U.S. Senate... The race for California's U.S. Senate seat in 2018 will be a defining moment in the resistance to Donald Trump and our fight for racial and economic justice."

They made the obvious point that DiFi "no longer reflects the lived experiences or core values of Californians here in 2017. And she isn't willing to step up and lead on resisting Trump or in fighting for the issues that matter to this country in this vital moment. Sen. Feinstein voted for the Iraq War. She was a leader in passing and then expanding the Patriot Act and other surveillance programs. As one of the most Wall Street-friendly Democrats in Congress, Sen. Feinstein has always stood with corporate power. She doesn't support Medicare for All or free college. We haven't seen her show up for racial justice... That's not the leadership we need in the Senate right now. We need a proven progressive champion who will fight for California and the American people against Trump -- someone whose life experiences have made them a perfect leader in this moment.

That's Kevin de León."

And no one should imagine for a moment his campaign is all about Trump's and Feinstein's myriad shortcomings. He's been, in DFA's words, "one of the most successful progressive legislators anywhere in the country. As President pro tem and thus leader of the California State Senate, he has been a progressive champion in fighting against Trump and fighting for racial and economic justice. Kevin de León led the California State Senate in passing a single-payer health care bill this past spring. He ensured passage of landmark legislation to fight climate change, to make housing more affordable, and to reduce sexual assault on campus. And he has done great work on passing gun safety legislation. He led the way in making California a sanctuary state. Kevin de León brings a perspective to the U.S. Senate that is clearly lacking-- and a life story that reflects the experiences of millions of his fellow Californians. The son of immigrants, he grew up in a working class family on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. He put himself through college teaching ESL. He got his start in politics fighting against the anti-immigrant Proposition 187. California has never elected a Latino to the U.S. Senate. In a state where Latinos are now the largest population group, it's long past time for this to change-- and for a progressive champion to lead the resistance in Congress... This is not just a battle for a U.S. Senate seat. It's a battle for the future of the Democratic Party and the country as a whole. Sen. Feinstein represents the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. Kevin de León represents the working people who are the true base of the Democratic Party."

And for anyone interested in DiFi's standing, ProgressivePunch rates her an "F" and notes she is one of the dozen worst Democrats in the Senate. Her lifetime crucial vote score is a disgraceful 78.73. California deserves better. (In contrast, California's other senator, Kamala Harris, is rated an "A" and has a 99.01 crucial vote score.)

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home