Monday, August 06, 2018

Eye On The Ball This Week: 2 Special Elections, 5 State Primaries


As you know, Blue America raises money for progressives running for office, primarily for the House, but also for the Senate, for a handful of worthy incumbents, for governors, for state legislators who look like they will have careers beyond the state level, and, in one, case, for presidents. Oh, yeah... and for progressives who have won their primaries and have been subsequently abandoned by the DCCC. Keyword: progressives. However, this cycle, there is a special circumstance: the existential threat to our democracy, our country, our world posed by Trump. So this cycle while sticking to our rule of raising money just for progressives, we're also rooting for all candidates with a "D" next to his or her name running against a Trump enabler. Actually, there are 2 exceptions, where even holding our collective nose and closing our eyes won't work: Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)... but that's a separate story.

The point is: we need Democrats-- even imperfect (and very imperfect) Democrats-- to put a check on Trump. In primaries though, like the ones coming up this week in Michigan, Kansas, Hawaii, Washington and Missouri, its all progressive all the way. In the OH-12 special election, a conservative Democrat, Danny O'Connor, is pitted against a very conservative Republican backed by Trump. To our friends in northern Columbus and it's suburbs and in Dublin, Worthington, Westerville, Pataskala, Mansfield, Bellville, Etna, Newark, and Zanesville... on Tuesday vote for "Danny Boy," as the orange orangutan called O'Connor on Saturday night in Lewis Center. Whatever else it is, it's a vote that will help hold Trump accountable and help keep him from pushing the U.S. in an ever more fascist direction. That overrides everything else. As Trumpanzee said: "Get your friends, get your neighbors, and get your family." Here's the kleptocratic ape's brilliant and inciteful political critique of the OH-12 election Tuesday:

The PVI is R+7. Trump beat Hillary 53.2% to 41.9%. Obama only took 43.9% in 2012 and 44.8% in 2008. It's a solid red, solidly gerrymandered, district. If O'Connor wins tomorrow-- and support for him is surging as of this morning-- the NRCC will be begging Trump to stay out of non-Southern states from now until November 7. And this special election is all about Trump-- which is exactly what he wants, what he always wants. In fact, yesterday, on ABC's This Week John Kasich said the hapless GOP candidate told him that he didn't invite Trump to Saturday's Delaware County rally. Kasich said the Trump appearance may lose the race for Balderson because of "the chaos that seems to surround Donald Trump has unnerved a lot of people... Suburban women in particular here are the ones that are really turned off, it's really kind of shocking because this should be just a slam dunk and it's not."

Last week, DCCC West Coast regional vice chair Ted Lieu tried to lure Trump into doing some of his crazy rallies in California. "I would pay the permit fees for Donald Trump to come to California and do one of his toxic rallies," he told us. "Can't wait for him to explain how the GOP tax scam increases taxes on millions of Californians; the random Trump tariffs hurt Californian farmers: and the rollbacks to environmental laws hurt our air and water. Trump's presence in California would help all Democratic candidates." Aside from the Ohio special election, 4 states have primaries on Tuesday and Hawaii has its primary on Saturday. Let's go through the House races first.

Kansas has 4 congressional districts and there are 3 that have Democrats running. KS-01-- the entire western and most of the central part of the state-- is so godforsaken (R+24 PVI), that no Democrat is even running. In the other 3 districts there are 2 Bernie carts and a Blue Dog in contention. KS-04 (Wichita) seems to be on the way to nominate James Thompson, the Kansan Blue America has endorsed. An oddity of this race, for the Koch brothers seat Mike Pompeo left to join the Trump regime, is that incumbent Ron Estes' Republican primary opponent is also named Ron Estes (and he's a registered Democrat!).

There is also an excellent progressive running against Republican Kevin Yoder in KS-03 (Topeka, Lawrence, Atchison, Pittsburg), Brent Welder. It's the least red district in the state (PVI-- R+4). Brent has a bevy of standard variety Democrats to get through tomorrow before he can face Yoder. For KS-02 (Kansas City), the DCCC has heavily backed a right-of-center Blue Dog, former state House minority leader Paul Davis, for the open seat, and his has no primary opponent. There are 7 Republicans in the hunt. Davis has raised more than the 3 top Republicans in the race combined.

The big race statewide in Kansas is for governor. After Sam Brownback bankrupted the state and ran off to become Trump's so-called "Ambassador for International Religious Freedom," Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, a relatively mainstream conservative became governor. Neo-fascist Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has his head planted up Trump's ass, is challenging him. Both Hannity and Trumpanzee, Jr have endorsed Kobach, of course.

In Michigan, there is also a big gubernatorial primary tomorrow. The status quo establishment pick is Gretchen Whitmer and the progressive in the race is Abdul El-Sayed (endorsed by Blue America). There's also a fake-progressive multimillionaire in the race, Shri Thanedar, who has helped fund Republicans. On the GOP side, Trump has endorsed a vile extremist, Attorney General Bill Schuette, against more mainstream conservative, Lt. Governor Brian Calley (who's being backed by outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder.

Michigan has 14 primaries (one of which-- in Detroit-- is a special election to replace John Conyers). The front runner is AAA progressive Rashida Tlaib (endorsed by Blue America). These are the primary candidates in Michigan, all progressives, we recommend voting for:
MI-06: Matt Longjohn
MI-09: Ellen Lipton
MI-11: Haley Stevens
MI-12: Rashida Tlaib
There's not much going on for progressives in Missouri,other than a long shot chance to replace corrupt Democrat Lacy Clay with progressive Cori Bush in St. Louis.

Washington state has 10 congressional seats-- 6 held by Democrats and 4 held by Republicans. With the exception of Pramila Jayapal in Seattle-- one of the best members of Congress-- the Democrats are all status quo conservative New Dems. The big news though is that 3 of the 4 Republicans are vulnerable in November. Imagine a Washington delegation with 9 Democrats and 1 Republican! One of the New Dems, Adam Smith (WA-09), is being primaried by progressive Sarah Smith. Now, what we all want is to see 3 Republicans replaced with 3 Democrats-- in WA-03, where Carolyn Long is poised to oust Jaime Herrera Beutler; in WA-05, where Lisa Brown (endorsed by Blue America) is poised to oust the 4th highest ranking Republican in the House, Cathy McMorris Rogers; and in WA-08... well, that's the complicated one, which will be solved tomorrow. Dave Reichert, the Republican incumbent in this district-- with an even PVI (and where Obama won both times and where Hillary beat Trumpanzee 47.7% to 44.7%)-- is retiring. A more conservative Republican, Dino Rossi, has his nomination locked. The 3 top Dems in the primary, Kim Schrier, Jason Rittereiser and Shannon Hader, are all decent progressives. The Democrats in the district, which stretches from Seattle and Tacoma's eastern outer suburbs-- 75% of the voters live in King and Pierce counties-- and then east past the Cascades as far as Wenatchee, Chelan and Ellensburg, will render their verdict tomorrow.

And then comes the one primary next Saturday, where there is a gubernatorial battle and a congressional race in Honolulu. The Honolulu primary pits one of the most progressive candidates anywhere in the country, Kaniela Ing (endorsed by Blue America) running against 4 conservatives from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. One, Beth Fukumoto was the actual minority leader of the House Republicans until recently, fighting every progressive bill Kaniela proposed. Now she claims to be a "Democrat." The other 3 are Ed Case, a former far right/Republican-lite Blue Dog member of Congress (the Kyrsten Sinema of his day and a cousin of AOL's Steve Case). He may be the worst in the race, but Donna Mercado King is a close runner-up-- a vicious anti-gay sociopath and a Republican in every way except for the "D" next to her name. Doug Chin is the corrupt corporate Attorney General who was appointed to his job and never won a race for anything and likely never win. We'll be talking more about this crucial race later in the week. Please consider contributing to Kaniela here, while considering why this poster-- and Alexandria's decision to travel to Hawaii next weekend-- is so important.

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